Career in testing: why is it useful to have an international ISTQB certificate?
Although software testing is a fundamental element within the IT sector, not a single Lithuanian university offers specialized studies in this field at the moment. That brings aspiring testers to IT schools, where they can acquire the knowledge and basic skills needed to land their first job within a relatively short time (3-10 months). Even so, according to Insoft‘s Business Unit Manager and President of the Lithuanian Software Testing Qualifications Board (LTSTQB) Dmitrij NIkolajev, these courses are only the first step to becoming a competent software tester. The ISTQB® International Certificate opens up a much wider range of career opportunities, but this option is often overlooked - even within the testing community.
Announced on 21 April, Lithuania's membership on the International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB) is a solid step in the right direction. The decision was announced at the ISTQB International Assembly in Wroclaw, Poland. Lithuania became the 68th member of the organization, and the LTSTQB now has the responsibility of extending ISTQB values and certification activities at a national level. That said, D.Nikolajev also hinted at ambitious plans to further unite the software testing community and set a clear educational standard in this field. "Our big mission is to improve the competence of software testing professionals in the country. Today we have a large (and growing) number of professionals in this field, so it is very important to set a stable quality bar that both professionals and employers can confidently use as a reference point. That is the very essence of ISTQB® international certificates. I have several of them myself and I really see a lot of value in it, which is also why I actively encourage my Insoft colleagues to seek international recognition," said Insoft’s Business Unit Manager.
Passing the knowledge test unlocks new career opportunities
The ISTQB® certification scheme is particularly relevant for those working on public sector projects and in companies of national importance. According to D. Nikolaev, almost half of Insoft's employees have at least basic level ISTQB certification. "This is a high rate compared to most companies in Lithuania, and the preparation for the exam itself brings huge benefits to professionals. It's a great opportunity to consolidate knowledge and fill in the gaps. We immediately see a positive change in the work practices of our colleagues who take the exam. Besides that, having a solid foundation also creates favorable conditions for successful growth further down their career path," Dmitrij noted.
Given the solid backing of ISTQB, LTSTQB plans to spread this message nationwide. The intention is to do it on several fronts: by setting an accreditation scheme for IT schools, by creating favorable conditions for taking the ISTQB exam immediately after software testing training, and by organizing various conferences that will bring the testing community even closer together. "In terms of international recognition, ISTQB® certificates are unmatched. Besides, the community is very international, with professionals from different countries coming together to develop training materials and assessment tools. Those practices help to set and maintain a common, international quality standard, which we will actively support and maintain in Lithuania," said the President of LTSTQB.
ISTQB exam as an essential step in the re-skilling process
According to Insoft’s Business Unit Manager, the labor market is seeing a significant increase in the number of re-skilled professionals who choose testing as their second career path. But in practice, a good software tester needs more than basic knowledge. Foundational IT knowledge plays a key role in work practice, and many re-skilled candidates for testing roles come unprepared. "It’s important to know the industry-related terms and have a wider foundation of knowledge to rely on as new challenges come along. That said, ISTQB has very clear expectations and requirements for each level, and the preparation process itself helps to fill these gaps. After all, working practices in different countries are quite similar, and Lithuania is full of international companies, so it’s important to have a good knowledge base that will smoothly guide you throughout your career and all the challenges that come along at work," stated the President of LTSTQB.